Career Resources

You don’t have to go into corporate defense to have a meaningful, financially secure career. While the Law Firm Transparency Project on its own is not a substitute for professional career advising, here are some resources to jump start your job search. Whether you are a student preparing to pay back your loans, or an associate at a big law firm seeking to change careers, know that there are meaningful options open to you—options that will allow you to make a positive difference through your legal career.

Private Public Interest Firms/Plaintiffs’ Firms

Private public interest firms and other plaintiffs’ firms offer lawyers an alternative career to corporate defense. These firms work in a variety of practice areas, from civil rights and employment discrimination to products liability and personal injury. They serve a vital role in vindicating the rights of consumers, employees, individuals, and communities. They also often pay attorneys salaries closer to the salaries of corporate law firms.

Many law schools have developed guides to exploring plaintiffs’ firms. Here are two examples:

Lastly, here are some examples of excellent private public interest firms that are engaged in public interest work.

Government work

Government lawyers work in a wide variety of practice settings, and all across the country.

Here is Harvard Law School’s guide to government lawyering:

Often, government lawyers bring the same type of affirmative litigation as nonprofits and private public interest firms. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division works to protect civil and constitutional rights around the country. The U.S. Department of Justice also has divisions working on Antitrust, Consumer Protection, and an Environmental and Natural Resources Division. State attorneys general often have many of the same offices.


Nonprofits and legal services organizations work in a variety of areas, protecting the rights of individuals and advocating for system-level change.

Public defense

Public defenders work in offices across the country vindicating the constitutional right of low-income criminal defendants to representation.

Other options

Outside of traditional practice areas, lawyers are engaged in a variety of projects to build a more just future. For example, labor unions sometimes hire lawyers: